California Paycheck Deductions


All employees must be able to know what their wages or salaries are a well as the exact amounts they take home when all deductions are factored. There are some paycheck deductions like social security and health insurance premiums that are legal but on the other hand, there are deductions that are very illegal. In the city of California, employers aren’t allowed to deduct several expenses from employees’ paychecks

* Items that can never be deducted

There is a basic rule in California stipulating that the employer must pay for all normal costs of running the business. He must never pass such expenses to the employee. Such expense must never be deducted from employees’ paychecks. These types of expenses include;

(a) Business expenses

Employees must be compensated for any loss that they suffer while doing any job. Employees must never deduct these business expenses from the paychecks of their employees. Such examples include gifts for clients, business meals, tolls etc.

(b) Cash shortages and breakages

An employer must never charge an employee for the losses that are caused by carelessness on the side of the employee. For instance, if an employee drops glasses in a restaurant business, the loss will be incurred by the business

(c) Tools and equipment

The employer must reimburse the employee for the items the employee purchases while carrying out business duties. Such item might comprise of hand tools or even uniforms

(d) Licensing and bonding

If employees must be licensed or bonded to work for employers, the employers must foot the costs. On the same note if an employer wants his employees to take fingerprints or even photographs, he must pay for the costs of all those items. Employees who are required to undergo medical exams as a condition for employment must be reimbursed such costs

(e) Tips

In California, tips are given to employees. Tips are not part and parcel of employees’ salaries. Tip sharing and pooling is allowed but employers and their managers must never participate

* Items that may be deducted

Employers may deduct expenses from employees’ paychecks only if they are allowed by the federal law or through collective bargaining agreements. Employers are also allowed to deduct health insurance premiums but they can only do this after getting an authorization from their employees in writing. This means that employees do not have the power to deduct any amount of money even if they owe such employees money

If employers advance money to their employees, they cannot make deduction for such advances unless such employees authorize in writing